Update: This post was originally published on September 18, 2012, and updated on January 14, 2022.
Every year come January 19, I can’t help but reminisce on our wedding day. It’s such a lovely thing to merge two cultural traditions into one when you get married. Being engaged, and marrying the love of my life was one of the happiest days of my life. Planning a bicultural wedding was so much fun that I actually wanted to bring everything about my Puerto Rican heritage to our wedding! Seashells, and all! As I planned our wedding, I wanted to incorporate my culture into our wedding. The one thing that I really, really wanted to share with my husband’s side of the family was the traditional capias.
A capia is a wedding souvenir that the bride gives to her guests. The one pictured is from our wedding. I still have a few that I’ve kept. These capias are truly special, they are a labor of love, a gift from Mami. She made them in Puerto Rico and brought them to me for our wedding. The capia is made with a thin satin ribbon with the bride’s & groom’s names; and the wedding date engraved on them. The ribbon is placed on lace or other material with a decorative piece on top. A pin is included so that the bride can pin on her guests. This way the bride is able to see all her guests and give them a wedding souvenir. Although I gave capias at my wedding, this is a tradition that is slowly disappearing from weddings. Back when I got married in 2008 they weren’t very popular and now I’m not sure if they are given out at weddings. Another tradition that I brought into our bicultural wedding was having a bride-look alike doll. Yes! A doll that is dressed just like the bride. My mother not only made the capias, but she also designed and sewed my wedding dress and the doll’s dress too. My doll was placed on a table at the entrance of the reception with the reception book where guests signed as they arrived.
What cultural tradition did you bring to your wedding?
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